Apapa Gridlock: Truck drivers recount ordeals, accuse security agencies of extortion

Truck drivers have lamented their ordeals in accessing Tin Can Island Port in Lagos as gridlock became heavier on Apapa road due to the ongoing road reconstruction.

The drivers complained that the combined team of security operatives have been leveraging on the opportunity to extort them, claiming that they pay about N45,000 before being allowed to access the port.

The Vice-Chairman, Dry Cargo Section, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Inuwa Abdullahi, who confirmed the claim, explained that it is due to the restriction of all the trucks to one lane and the effort of the drivers to get in and out of the port as they could not stand to waste long hours in the queue.

Alhaji lnuwa disclosed that lack of proper coordination for the trucks heading into the port created the avenue for the extortion and other sharp practices along the port access roads.

He explained: “The issue is due to the restriction of all the trucks to one lane without proper coordination. Majority of the drivers are not patient to waste long hours in the traffic. The security agencies have taken this opportunity to extort the drivers in their effort to get in and out of the port.”

Also speaking on the issue, the Chairman of the Association of Maritime Trucks Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi expressed regrets that the Heads of Agencies in the Maritime industry were not showing concern over the challenge.

He said the agencies should find a lasting solution to the problem of extortions by strictly regulating trucks movement in and out of the ports, as well as the management of the petrol tankers heading to the numerous tank farms in the area.

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